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Yolanda and the Thief

Metro has a musical story of virtue and the Divine in Yolanda and the Thief, but the result is not all it might have been. Arthur Freed produced with lavishness, and the casting, topped by Fred Astaire, Lucille Bremer and Frank Morgan, has an eye towards marquee values, but the basic yarn doesn't lend itself toward the screen.

Metro has a musical story of virtue and the Divine in Yolanda and the Thief, but the result is not all it might have been. Arthur Freed produced with lavishness, and the casting, topped by Fred Astaire, Lucille Bremer and Frank Morgan, has an eye towards marquee values, but the basic yarn doesn’t lend itself toward the screen.

This is the story of a Latin-American heiress who, after being brought up in a convent, assumes charge of her fortune upon coming of age. Her childhood, naturally one that saw her sheltered from the outer world, makes her easy prey for a fraud that a young American and his elderly confederate would play upon her to relieve her of her millions.

There’s an idea in this yarn, but it only suggests itself. It becomes too immersed in its musical background, and the story is too leisurely in pace. A musical production number attempts to be symbolic but only serves to waste too many moments of the over-long film. And the story itself, the way it’s done, strains credibility.

Yolanda and the Thief

  • Production: M-G-M. Director Vincente Minnelli; Producer Arthur Freed; Screenplay Irving Brecher; Camera Charles Rosher; Editor George White; Music Lennie Hayton (dir.); Art Director Cedric Gibbons, Jack Martin Smith
  • Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1945. Running time: 108 MIN.
  • With: Fred Astaire Lucille Bremer Frank Morgan Mildred Natwick Mary Nash Leon Ames